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USC REPORT

Cody Is Out for the Season

October 16, 2002|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC suffered a major blow Tuesday when defensive tackle Shaun Cody learned that he will be out the rest of the season because of a torn ligament in his left knee that requires surgery.

Cody, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound sophomore, was injured in the second quarter of the No. 19 Trojans' 30-28 victory over California last Saturday. He had an MRI exam Monday night and hoped the test would reveal only a bad sprain. Instead, it showed a damaged anterior cruciate ligament.

Cody said he would undergo surgery when the swelling subsides.

"I was braced for the worst," said Cody, who is on crutches. "This was the worst-case scenario, but I was ready for any answer they told me.

"I kind of always thought that great athletes don't get hurt. It happened. I'm ready to go to work and get back."

Coach Pete Carroll called the loss of Cody, a two-year starter, "a crusher, just a crusher."

Sophomore Mike Patterson will move from nose tackle to fill Cody's position and senior Bernard Riley, who came back from knee surgery, will play nose tackle. Freshman LaJuan Ramsey and senior Anthony Daye will serve as backups.

"It obviously challenges our depth and our young players have to be ready to step up," Carroll said. "We're fortunate to have Bernard ready to go."

Sophomore defensive end Kenechi Udeze said the Trojans will regroup in time for Saturday's game against No. 22 Washington.

"We still have a good solid four that can step up and play against any line in America and do a pretty good job," Udeze said. "Losing Shaun is major, but we should be OK if we keep everybody healthy and get the young guys going."

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Tight end Alex Holmes said he was pleased with his season-high five receptions for 65 yards against Cal and looked forward to more chances to catch the ball and run with it.

"It affords me opportunity to use my size to my advantage," said Holmes, a 6-3, 265-pound junior. "When I can run a little bit and get my momentum going, that's when I think I'm at my best.

"I haven't been the dominating blocker that I can be in terms of pancaking somebody every play, but I think I've been effective getting the job done and overpowering people."

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Carroll confirmed that junior Marcell Allmond will start at left cornerback in place of redshirt sophomore William Buchanon, who has started the last three games.

"I like the way he practiced today, he played well in the [Cal] game and he's deserving of it," Carroll said.

Buchanon, who was switched from receiver to cornerback before the opener, will also play against Washington.

"I'm still learning and I see it as a challenge," Buchanon said.

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Offensive tackle Jacob Rogers, who sprained his right knee against Cal, said he would sit out Saturday's game against Washington and possibly the game at Oregon on Oct. 26. Eric Torres will start at left tackle Saturday.... Safety Troy Polamalu, nursing a high ankle sprain, made it through about half of practice before stepping aside for competitive drills.... Wide receiver Kareem Kelly is still wearing a protective boot on his sprained right ankle and is day to day.... Former Trojan linebacker Zeke Moreno, who plays for the San Diego Chargers, attended practice along with former Trojan tight end Kori Dickerson.

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